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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Google Reader Can Now Auto-Translate Posts

If you would like to subscribe to a blog or other feed in a language you’re not speaking, Google Reader now offers an auto-translate feature for you. Just subscribe to a specific feed, say, the German GoogleWatchBlog. Then check “Feed settings” -> “Translate into my language”.

Here’s a sample post translation from that blog:

Google now also with profiles Kontaktierungsmöglichkeit

After Google profiles meanwhile also for search engines available, should a large proportion of visitors to that person no longer personally know and have no contact possibilities. Since the show the e-mail address usually a very bad idea, Google now offers the possibility of the owner of the profile to contact us directly.

... in other words, the quality may be good enough to get certain points across (perhaps the more the closer related the languages are), but it’s also confusing enough to cause occasional non-understandings or – which might be worse if you’re the blogger who wrote the text – misunderstandings.

If you’re a blog author and you prefer your blog won’t be translated, Google says you can use the following directive in your HTML – however, I’m not sure whether Google checks this for Google Reader, or if there’s any way to specifically disallow a feed from being translated (I asked Google and will update if I know more):

<meta name="google" value="notranslate" />

[Thanks Tony and Moustafa! Also, see the official blog post on this.]

Update: Google in a mail says, “The <meta name="google" value="notranslate" /> only works in the HTML <head> section. Because there is no corresponding <head> section in a feed, any feed publisher or blog author wishing to keep feed items from being translated should add <span class="notranslate"> </span> tags around any relevant HTML in their feed items.” (Note <span> is an inline element, so if you want to go for something like that you might better use a block level element like <div>, I guess.)


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